Bridgewater (Census Bureau est. pop of 5,399; land area of 2.48 sq. mi.) took on its current name when chartered as a town in 1835. Settled by Scotch-Irish immigrants in the 1740s, previous town names reflected this use as a crossing and/or port on the North River. Bridgewater boasts a family-friendly setting with 30% of households including children younger than 18, yet the town proudly nurtures a growing reputation as a location favored by retirees. Attractions include Bridgewater College (a private 4-year liberal arts college, nine town parks (including an arboretum), annual community-wide yard sales in Spring and Fall, a summer series of free concerts, and a Labor Day festival capped off by fireworks.
Dayton (Census Bureau est. pop of 1,347; land area of 0.81 sq. mi.) is dominated by the forces of agriculture, and has its character shaped by the Old Order Mennonites who farm most of the surrounding land. The hitching posts in and around the historic downtown are not decorations. Other Dayton attractions include an annual Autumn Celebration each October, the Dayton Farmer's Market specialty shops, a number of museums, historic sites, and the Shenandoah Valley Folk Art & Heritage Center which houses the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Historical Society.
Mt. Crawford, Virginia
Mt. Crawford (Census Bureau est. pop. of 285; land area of 0.33 sq. mi.) is located just west of I-81 along Route 11, known alternately as Lee Highway and/or The Valley Pike. Mt. Crawford served as a stop-off point between Harrisonburg and Staunton from the mid 1700s through the late 1800s. Mixed with modern commercial and residential structures, Mt. Crawford still has buildings where spectators are known to have gathered on front porches to watch General Robert E. Lee's troops parade to encounter Union Forces.
Bridgewater, Dayton & Mt. Crawford each has its own unique historic flavor. All three are great places to observe small town life, beautiful architecture, unique shops and local eateries. The country roads connecting these towns are dotted with antique shops selling treasures from many eras (many still at flea market prices, craft shops, featuring famous artists and local crafters, family farms supporting burgeoning agri-businesses, and a multitude of historic landmarks. The Greater Ashby Business Area also includes recreational activities and facilities, accommodations ranging from B&B's to country inns, regional and national restaurant chains an financial institutions and communities of citizens active in civic organizations and churches, and is an employment center with several major industries located within its borders.
Stay at the Crimson Inn, Bridgewater, VA and enjoy what all three areas have to offer.